There are quite a lot of cases where we must check what kind of motherboard we have. This kind of information is vital in order to learn things such as RAM compatibility, CPU compatibility, and things like that.
The only problem is that most of us aren’t going to upgrade our motherboard for at least 3 years. That’s more than enough time for your average person to forget the details of what he/she bought.
So, in that case, how do I know what motherboard I have? Well, let’s find out!
1: Physically Check the Motherboard
Let’s start with the easy, non-technical stuff. Some motherboards have their model name printed somewhere on the board. There is no standard position or size for the inscription. So, try to be very thorough in your quest for name hunting.
Some motherboards, like the MSI B450 Tomahawk, have a huge inscription of their model name that’s printed right on the board. Others may have a very small print that’s rather easy to miss – and in some rare cases, you won’t find anything at all.
If you’re unlucky enough to own a motherboard that doesn’t physically mention its model anywhere, then keep on reading. There are quite a lot of other ways.
2: Use Windows’ System Information Tool
Windows 10, 8, and Windows 7 all have a built-in program that should provide you with all the information that you’ll need.
At this point, we’d like to mention that OEM laptops and desktops from Dell, HP, or any other companies that sell pre-built computers will not display a motherboard model. For example, instead of “MSI B450 Tomahawk” which is kind of what you can expect to see on the System Model section, you’ll find something like “Dell Latitude E6430” instead.
In such cases, you don’t need the motherboard’s name to look for parts/replacements. The computer’s name should be more than enough to find anything.
For example, if we need extra RAM for a Dell Latitude E6430, a quick Google search reveals that it works with DDR3 memory. The same thing should work for any other OEM computer.
The good thing about the specified Windows program that you won’t have to install anything extra. Here’s what needs to be done in order to get access to it on Windows 10:
- Click on the search bar icon on the lower left part of the screen (Should be right next to the Windows icon)
- Type in “MS Info”
- Open the program which is called “System Information”
- And look for anything that contains information about your motherboard
As for Windows 8:
- Hit the Windows + X buttons on your keyboard simultaneously
- Click on “Run”
- Type “Msinfo32”
- And find all the information that you need
And for Windows 7:
- Open the Windows menu by either clicking on the Windows icon on the lower left part of the screen or by pressing the Windows button on your keyboard (Windows 7 doesn’t have a search bar)
- Click on “All programs”
- System tools
- System information utility
- Then proceed to find the information that you are after
3: Use a Third-Party Program
If Windows’ default program didn’t help you out, there are always 3rd party options to choose from. And frankly, some of them provide more information than most of us will ever need.
One of the most popular options that are out there at the moment is CPU-Z. Despite its name, CPU-Z actually provides information for various components, including the motherboard.
All you have to do is to install it, open it, head over to the “Mainboard” tab, and check out the details.
Other than that, CPU-Z also prints information about the CPU, Memory, Graphics, and it can even perform a benchmark or stress task.
So, if you need to find out what motherboard you have for replacement parts or upgrades, you may as well just look at what components the mobo is using and be done with it.
4: Use the Manual
In case you haven’t done so already, look for the manual of the motherboard. Many of us just leave all manuals and papers that we may later need somewhere in a forgotten drawer.
If you’re that kind of person, do take a look at that drawer and maybe you’ll find something interesting. And if not, well, keep on reading.
5: Go Full Detective Mode
Maybe you can’t boot up the PC to use monitoring software, the motherboard doesn’t mention its model anywhere, and you can’t find that manual anywhere. If that’s the case, then going full detective mode is the last resort.
Use any kind of information that’s at your disposal. Do you know what chipset the mobo uses? How many DIMM slots does it have? What kind of CPU socket? What brand is it? What form factor? Anything.
If it’s possible, start with the brand, size, and chipset. That alone is enough to shrink down the available options down to a small number.
For example, let’s suppose that we’re trying to find an MSI B450M Pro M2 V2. Even without any info, one can tell that it’s an M-ATX MSI board and you can hopefully remember that it uses the B450 chipset.
That piece of information is enough to limit the available choices down to 15. In that example, all we have to do is type in “B450M” on MSI’s official website. In case you’re not familiar with such codenames, B450 stands for the chipset name and the “M” stands for Micro ATX.
Once you’ve got a list in front of you, use the image and any visual info that you can find on screen to tell apart which motherboard is yours.
With all that being said, this is definitely not an easy task. To find a motherboard with this method, one needs to have an eye for detail, at least a small level of technical knowledge, and lots of time to research.
And even with all of that, there’s no guarantee that you’ll find what you’re after.
That’s all we have for now. If you think that we forgot to mention an important method or detail, feel free to let us know about it in the comments.